No, really. Not all of my cylinders are firing these days. My thoughts are muddled. My brain is a total fog.
My friend Sarah explained to me that during seasons of extreme stress, our brain’s frontal lobe doesn’t function as it should. This affects our ability to make decisions and to think logically.
Funny, I used to just call that motherhood.
I’ve been slowly losing my capacity for clear thinking over the past 11 years. But, I would say that lately it’s getting even worse.
So, for your Friday enjoyment, I’ll share two stories of my complete and utter "space case"-ness that occurred within five days of one another last week.
Depending on your season of life, these stories will bring you either:
1. Fear for your own future (along with a relatively strong sense of anxiety for MY children and their future).
2. Relief in knowing you aren’t alone in your own absentmindedness.
Warning: These stories are 100% true. I can guarantee at times it will be hard to believe that ANYONE could possibly be this dumb, but let me shatter that illusion. My name is Christine and I’m an idiot.
Scenario #1 – The Car
It was the day before Valentine’s Day and, for once, I’d thoughtfully planned a date night in advance for my husband. (Since I usually live day-to-day and moment-by-moment, this was an exception to the rule and should be pointed out right now in a shameless effort to create goodwill in your heart towards me before you continue reading.)
We brought two cars to Saturday night church, but left one in the parking lot after the service as we went out for a quick bite to eat and to a play. We had a wonderful time together topped off with a gorgeous snowfall on the cars and streets when we exited the theater.
We slowly made our way back to the church parking lot to retrieve my car before more snow accumulated on it. As we rounded the corner into the parking lot, the first thing that caught my eye was the absence of snow on the vehicle.
“Hmmm,” I thought. “Maybe I parked in a wind tunnel causing no snow to land on the car?” Ahem, keep reading.
I proceeded to get out of my husband’s car and walk towards my car only to see the interior lights turned on. Now, the car I was driving was a rental because a few days before I’d gotten into a wreck (another story in a month filled with craziness) and as I approached my car my first thought was, “Wow, these new-fangled key fobs even turn the lights on for you!”
Turns out the new-fangled key fob unlocks your door for you, too. (Or perhaps you left the car unlocked. To-may-to, To-mah-to. By gones.)
It wasn’t until I opened the door of the car and a rush of hot air whooshed out that I knew all was not quite right and the new-fangled key fob was not responsible.
You guys, I left my car running.
I left my car running while we were at church (1.25 hours). I left my car running while we went for dinner (1 hour). And I left my car running while we were at the play and driving home (2.75 hours).
I left my car running for five hours.
In a parking lot.
Now, I’d like to blame the fancy push-button start and stop feature of the car. I really would. No, I mean I really, really would.
But, there’s no one to blame but me and my brain fog. I did not turn my car off and I left it running for five hours.
Only in Iowa, in a church parking lot no less, would an unlocked, running car still be sitting there five hours later.
But, gotta say, it was nice and toasty warm. I like to think of it as an extended version of remote start.
Scenario #2 – The Texts
A mere five days later, my daughter had a music concert. My older son just happened to have basketball practice at the same time in the same school building. Perfect, right?
Drop them both off. Watch the concert. Pick them both up. Done.
The Scheduling Stars had aligned to make the Meggison Family Schedule easier for one, glorious evening.
When we arrived to drop my son off for basketball, we learned that the practice was either going to be postponed or moved to another building due to a scheduling conflict in the gym. Not a problem. I asked my son’s coach to either let us know if they moved to another location or to send my son in to watch the concert if the practice was delayed.
The concert started. The practice was delayed and my son along with a couple of buddies slipped in the back of the auditorium to watch.
After the concert we learned that practice wouldn’t start for another 45 min. I busied myself getting my daughter picked up, enjoying conversations with moms along the way. My husband, very familiar with the mom-conversation delays, headed out to the car ahead of me with the kids.
I quickly scurried out to the car, hopped in the passenger seat and we were off!
My phone buzzed with an incoming text.
Friend #1: “Can you just drop York off at our house on your way home from the concert?” (Friend #1 was going to run carpool for basketball now that practice was delayed and the Meggison’s Schedule Stars were no longer aligned.)
Me: “Stopping for gas and then on our way.”
Buzz. Another text coming in from Friend #2.
Friend #2: “Any idea where D, York and J are? Don’t know where they ended up after the concert.”
Me: “We have York.”
We now pulled up to the gas pumps, so I quickly put my phone away and turned toward the back seat to tell my daughter how much I enjoyed her concert when I said,
“WHERE IS YORK?!?”
You guys, he wasn’t in the car.
He wasn’t in the car when I texted Friend #1 that we’d drop him off after getting gas.
He also wasn’t in the car when I texted Friend #2, “We have York.”
Now, before you go defending me (please, someone find a defendable moment in this story) thinking that it’s hard to see all the way to the back of the van where York normally sits, please remember that we’re still driving the sporty, rental car with the new-fangled fob. My children were less than 24 inches behind me in the car.
Well, except for one of them.
My daughter and other son answered my panicked question with, “We don’t know. Maybe he’s still back at the school?”
I honk the horn to get my gas-pumping husband’s attention and yell, “York isn’t in the car!”
My poor husband. He’s an innocent bystander in all of these frontal lobe malfunctions. Just along for the bumpy ride frequently giving me the, “Wait for it…” look hoping I catch on soon.
Concluding that York was still back at the school it was time to face the music with Friend #1 and Friend #2.
Me to Friend #2: “We have York.”
Me to Friend #2, 30 seconds later: “Sorry, actually we don’t.”
Good grief. Good thing my friends love me.
Me to Friend #1: “Sorry, York isn’t with us. He stayed at school.”
Friend #1 back to me: “Ok. I was beginning to wonder!”
I was beginning to wonder, too. Wonder, that is, if I was officially losing it. But after these two situations, there was no question: I no longer have a functioning brain in my head.
These lovely children with all of their practice times and games and projects and reading minutes and dress up days and laundry needs and permission slips and library books have slowly eroded my brain.
The mass quantity of items to remember on a weekly basis has done me in. There is no longer room in my brain for simple functions like turning off my car and counting kid heads in the back seat.
Now, in case you are wondering what happened with York, it turns out he was in the gym with his two friends watching a basketball game the whole time. As he pointed out to me later, “Mom, you might have thought I was lost, but I knew where I was all along.”
Which I then pointed out to him, “This has nothing to do with not knowing where you were,” (Okay, so it probably DOES have a LITTLE to do with that.) “but has everything to do with the fact that I sent two texts to two separate friends claiming you were in the car with us…..and you WEREN’T!”
That, my friends, is frontal lobe probs.
Do not be like me.